I don't own anything. Takes place right before Vampires of Venice.

"What," Amy asked belligerently, slamming the doors to the TARDIS and then stomping up the stairs to the console as though she wanted her feet to punch right through, "Is the problem?"

The Doctor looked up from twisting various knobs, his expression in its default setting: bright with interest, thoughtful, and frustratingly difficult to read. Currently, that last bit was on purpose. Ignoring the question for the moment, he asked, "What is your… um… What was his name?" Amy looked at him blankly. This was not a good sign. "Your fiancée. Who you will be marrying. Tomorrow." Extra emphasis on that last word… as though it would do any good.

Sure enough, her expression cleared, and she shrugged one shoulder, reaching out with one finger to trace the smooth edges of a large, bright blue button. "I already said," she replied lightly, "That's up for debate." Her eyes flicked up to study his face, clearly asking if he cared to… debate.

He turned back to the console before she could actually manage real eye contact. "So you did." He had to think this through. He couldn't panic. She was a little Scottish girl in her 20's, and he was the last of the Time Lords, the Oncoming Storm, etcetera, etcetera. Why was he the one panicking? "Okay… Hypothetically speaking, if you were to get married, where would your boyfriend be the night before the wedding?"

"…The bachelor party, probably. Down at the pub." She sounded absent, like most of her mind was somewhere else, and he didn't want to risk looking up at her again. His mouth opened in a silent, 'Ah', and then he twisted a few more knobs. "… What makes you think that you'll be able to get me back to that particular point?"

That was too surprising, and he looked over at her before he could think better of it, his expression mildly nonplussed. "What?" His hand was hovering rather comically over a little dial of some kind.

One of her eyebrows was up, and she was smirking as she continued to trace the outline of that daft blue button. "To the night before my wedding. You track record for arriving on time isn't exactly spotless, is it?"

He winced guiltily. "Now… that's not—"

"So, really," she continued, edging closer to him, her fingertip trailing along the rim of the console, "Even if you have the best of intentions, there's every chance in the world that you can't take me back to the night before my wedding." He was scooting around the console away from her, seemingly by necessity, because he was twisting valves and flipping the odd switch as he went, but he still wasn't looking at her, either. "So, really…"

Quite suddenly, she fairly lunged around the console, going in the opposite direction; he flinched back—and the guard rail brought him up short. Amy in front, guard rail behind. "Amy," he began, his tone all but spelling out, 'don't you dare.' He was leaning away from her so dramatically that he was half afraid that he would pitch back over the railing.

That raised eyebrow went up even further. It was a rather wicked expression. "Doctor…?" she purred, reaching out for his chest—or bowtie, or jacket, or suspenders (something in that general area, anyway)—with one hand.

He caught it by the wrist without thinking. "Stop it," he snapped, hoping that he sounded parental. He didn't have time for this nonsense; those cracks in the universe… well… they were worrying. Really, really worrying. Actually, worrying wasn't quite the right word. What was it… ? …. Terrifying! That was it!

She jerked her wrist out of his hand, her expression flashing from seductive to angry faster than most people could change the channel on the telly. He returned the look evenly, then pointedly walked back over to the console to continue with the whole 'driving' thing.

She let him fiddle with the controls in silence for a few long moments, and then spoke up again, her voice hard. "You never answered my question."

Without looking up, he lightly asked, "What question?"

"What is the problem?" He could hear the hurt in her voice, underneath all of the anger that she always dragged around like a security blanket, and set his jaw. This was not 'Comfort Amy' time. "Not pretty enough for you?"

He looked up at her, his expression exasperated. "Amy, the fact that you're even considering that option just goes to further prove that you don't understand the situation. At all."

"Then EXPLAIN it to me," she growled.

He paused, then ran a hand through his hair. "Have you ever seen a really cute two year old?" She blinked at him, surprised out of being quite so furious. Clearly, this was not how she'd expected the explanation to start. "And maybe thought… oh, he'll be a looker when he grows up?" Her eyes widened, and then narrowed. Oops, she was starting to see where this was going. He continued hurriedly, trying to seem as reasonable as possible while still making sure that he finished speaking before she decided to kill him. "I'm over 900 years old, Amy. You're over 20. I don't want to date kids; would you?." That really wasn't the main point, but it was the only one that he could articulate in any sort of coherent fashion. Suddenly he frowned. "And, did I mention, YOU'RE ENGAGED." Giving her one last, irritated look, he went back to pushing buttons… Though that was mostly to give him something to do with his hands; the TARDIS had its coordinates.

She was silent for a few more seconds, and then abruptly hissed, "Liar."

His head jerked towards her again, and he raised his eyebrows. "… Pardon?"

"I said," Amy snarled, "You're a liar."

He gaped at her for a second. "… Concerning WHAT? Being 900? Well, strictly speaking, 900 and…. eight? Nine?" He ran a hand over his face, suddenly feeling very tired. "Blimey; it's so easy to loose track…"

"About dating 'kids!' People my age!" He just stared at her, having no inkling as to what she was talking about. Her jaw tight, she stalked over to the far side of the control room, and picked up what looked like a small scrap of cheerfully pink cloth. What was… "It's a shirt," she informed him, answering his unspoken question, "A girl's shirt. I was going to ask you about it at some point. Do you want to know where I found it?" He felt a sudden, horrible, sinking sensation beginning in his stomach; his body knew where this was going, even if his brain hadn't caught up yet. "In your room. More specifically, in your BED." He stood stock still, his breath suddenly very shallow. "So either there was a girl in your bed, or you sleep with a girl's shirt; either way, don't LIE about not wanting to bang a KID."

"… You went into my room?" His voice was very quiet, and Amy instantly went almost as still as he had become, her anger fading away into disquiet as she realized that she had crossed some sort of line.


"You took—" He stopped talking, because if he kept talking, then he was going to start shouting, and if he started shouting, then he was going to LOOSE IT.

As usual, when Amy was frightened or unnerved or defensive, she just ended up getting even angrier. "Yeah, I did. And nice job trying to hide it behind a cupboard door," she added viciously. "So were you sleeping with her?"

"NO!" he shouted. He couldn't remember being angrier with anyone in his entire life.

"So you just sleep with her shirt, then. Why? Does it smell like she did?" He could hear the tears in her voice, but was seeing far too much red to care.

"SHUT! UP!" His whole body seemed to be shaking, buzzing with fury and hurt and…

"So you don't?"

"Not—" He almost choked on the words. "Not anymore!" … loss.

That stopped her cold. They were both breathing hard by that point, Amy's face bright red, and the Doctor deathly white. After a second or two, she shakily asked, "… Wh—What do you mean?"

"… I used to sleep with it," he said after a moment, his voice tight, barely controlled, "I don't anymore."

Amy looked down, worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, and then hesitantly asked, "Why did you stop?"

He stared at her for what must have been another long, tense minute, and then turned back to the console. "Amy Pond," he informed her, his voice making a return to complete calm, "I think we should go get your fiancée." He sharply brought his open palm down on that large, bright blue button, and the TARDIS' engines cut out. Without looking back, he started for the door.

"Doctor?" He turned around, his expression once more bright with interest and completely impossible to read. Amy pursed her lips. "Why?"

He turned back to the door and fiddled absently with the handle. "… Because I couldn't keep missing her like that," he said, his voice still even, if not exactly cheerful. There was a rather pregnant pause, and then he turned back to look at her and continued brightly. "So. Stay put, and I'll be back with your dashing groom-to-be. Alright?" Amy nodded, looking rather numb, and the Doctor left without giving her time to think of a better response, or—perhaps more importantly—without giving himself time to ask for that damned shirt back.

He had a ridiculously romantic date to plan. Paris? No, that was sort of… done. Medusa cascade? … Might be a bit much for a first time traveler. New Earth?